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Public Statements

Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. ALTMIRE. Madam Chairman, let me thank Chairman Culberson for his excellent work on this important bill which funds our Nation's military construction projects and provides support to the infrastructure that serves our Nation's veterans.

The Veterans Affairs campus located in Butler, Pennsylvania, provides critical health care services to veterans across western Pennsylvania. Two years ago I worked with my colleagues to provide $8.5 million to make improvements to the campus to ensure the veterans in our community receive the best care in the most up-to-date facilities.

Despite these improvements, the VA has plans to move forward with construction of an offsite health care center. And while this is a laudable initiative by the VA, many veterans in our community are worried that the construction of this new center will lead to the elimination of services that are currently available to them at the Butler VA, which is a valuable asset to the community relied upon by veterans throughout western Pennsylvania.

Valid questions about the rationale behind constructing a new facility have been raised in the veterans' community, and their input should be heard. Any new, offsite facility should complement, not replace services currently provided at the Butler VA campus. My colleagues and I will continue to monitor this issue to ensure the highest quality services to veterans will continue to be provided at that facility now and in the future.

I yield to the Representative of the Butler VA facility, my friend, Congressman Mike Kelly.

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